HOUSE FOR FARMERS: DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario spearheads Friday’s MOU and MOA signing between the Department of Agrarian Reform, led by Secretary John Castriciones, the National Housing Mortgage Finance Corporation, Ayala Land Corp., the Umingan, Pangasinan LGU and the D’Plowman Multi-Purpose Cooperative for the BALAI Farmers Housing Program, a housing project for local farmers.

QUEZON CITY – The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) have jointly rolled out a housing project for local farmers in Pangasinan.

DHSUD Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario welcomed the joint project with DAR as a huge boost to government efforts in uplifting the lives of local farmers.

The DHSUD, along with the DAR, Ayala Land Corp. and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC), on Friday signed two key pacts for the development of the BALAI Farmers Housing Program meant to provide shelter to local farmers.

Together with DAR Secretary John Castriciones,  Secretary Del Rosario said the agreements seek to uplift the living conditions and economic status of farmers.

A Memorandum of Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding were finalized by DHSUD, DAR, NHMFC with the Umigan, Pangasinan local government unit and the D’Plowman Cooperative.

The BALAI Farmers Housing Program is a holistic and comprehensive solution aimed at achieving inclusive growth by means of uplifting the quality of lives of farmers, particularly the agrarian reform beneficiaries, through housing, livelihood, education and technological innovation.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, the scheme is part of DHSUD’s efforts in addressing woes related to internal migration, stressing that by providing affordable and sustainable housing projects to farmers in the provinces, problems related to over-population in rural areas are being resolved.

The housing czar said that by addressing rural and agricultural poverty, internal migration can be addressed in a way that those living in the provinces will no longer seek for “greener pastures” by coming to the cities.

“Napakaganda nitong programa na ito dahil ina-address na niya yung poverty incidence sa provinces and it also prevents internal migration to the metropolis. Napakaraming andito sa NCR (National Capital Region), Metro Manila, Region 4A, dito nagre-reside, they would like to migrate because naghihirap, so this program aims to minimize poverty and spur economic activity in the regions,“ Secretary Del Rosario said, associating the scheme with the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-asa program.

The DHSUD chief praised the ongoing convergence among the pacts’ signatories, stressing that empowering the housing and urban development sector will be enhanced if government agencies, LGUs and stakeholders in the private sector will continue working together.

Under the program, 184 housing units will be constructed on a 2.6-hectare land owned by the Umingan, Pangasinan LGU for farmer-beneficiaries.
Secretary Del Rosario said the DHSUD, along with its partner developers and DAR, is bent on building more such housing complexes to benefit local farmers within the current administration.

Through the BALAI Farmers Housing Program, DHSUD hopes to tap the participation of private housing developers through the balanced housing compliance, as well as facilitate affordable housing loans through the department’s key shelter agencies and government financial institutions. The DAR, meanwhile, will spearhead efforts with regards to the provision of livelihood activities as an integral component of the housing program to ensure productivity of farmers.

Aside from Umingan, the project also has pilot sites in Bayombong, Nueva Vizvcaya, Gabaldon or San Jose City in Nueva Ecija, Basey in Samar, Argao, Cebu, Daet in Camarines Norte and Davao’s Calinan. (30)